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Explore the Best Portuguese Architectural Places of Goa!

Nestled along the western coast of India lies the enchanting state of Goa, a unique blend of vibrant Indian culture and colonial Portuguese heritage. Without further ado, let’s unveil the must-visit Portuguese Architectural places of Goa where you can immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of Goan history and heritage beauty.

12. Se Cathedral

Se Cathedral - Portuguese Architectural places of Goa

Towering over the old Goa skyline, the Se Cathedral is one of Asia’s largest churches and one of the best Portuguese Architectural places of Goa. Its stunning Portuguese-Manueline style architecture and the renowned Golden Bell are awe-inspiring sights. Built in the 16th century, this majestic cathedral is dedicated to St. Catherine.

Interesting fact: The Se Cathedral houses the cross of Miracles which is believed to have miraculous properties. This miraculous cross used to grow in height for a very long time. However, it is said that it has now stopped growing. 

11. Ancestral Goa (BigFoot)

Ancestral Goa - Big Foot

Step back in time at this cultural village, and experience Goan rural life and Portuguese influences come alive at this cultural village. Visitors can explore traditional Goan houses, a handicraft center, and a depiction of the Last Supper with Goan dishes.

Interesting fact: It features a giant foot sculpture, which symbolizes the legend of a saint who used to reside there.

10. Aguada Fort

Aguada Fort

Built by the Portuguese to guard against Dutch and Maratha invasions, this 17th-century fortress is a testament to Goa’s strategic importance. Visitors can explore its robust walls, lighthouse, and panoramic views of the Arabian Sea.

Interesting Fact: Aguada Fort is famous for its innovative water supply system, which consisted of a large reservoir capable of storing around 2,376,000 gallons of water.

9. Fontainhas Street

Image Courtesy: Lokaso Photoshoot 

Wander through the narrow streets of Fontainhas, Goa’s Latin Quarter, and be transported back in time. This charming neighborhood is renowned for its well-preserved Portuguese-style houses painted in vibrant hues, offering a picturesque setting for leisurely strolls and Instagram-worthy snapshots.

Interesting Fact: The Fontainhas street is the most visited, photoshoot spot of Goa

8. Old Goa

Old Goa
#OldGoa Portuguese Architectural places of Goa

Once the capital of Portuguese India, Old Goa is a treasure trove of architectural wonders. From the imposing Viceroy’s Arch to the serene Convent and Church of St. Francis of Assisi, every corner tells a story of Goa’s colonial past.

Interesting Fact: Old Goa, also known as Velha Goa, was the former capital of Portuguese India.

7. Mangueshi Temple

Mangueshi Temple

While predominantly influenced by Hindu architecture, this temple bears traces of Portuguese design elements, showcasing the fusion of cultures in Goa.

Interesting Fact: The original temple was destroyed during the Portuguese inquisition, and the current structure dates back to the 18th century.

6. Reis Magos Fort

Reis Magos Fort

Located on the northern bank of the Mandovi River, this fort offers stunning views of the river and the Arabian Sea. It showcases a blend of Portuguese and Indian architectural styles, along with a well-preserved chapel.

Interesting Fact: Reis Magos Fort served as a prison. It housed prisoners during the Portuguese colonial period and was later used as a jail by the British colonial authorities.

5. Braganza House 

Braganza House

Step back in time at this well-preserved mansion in Chandor, showcasing the opulence of colonial Goan life. Its Portuguese-style façade, elegant furnishings, and extensive gardens offer a glimpse into a bygone era.

Interesting Fact: The house has been home to generations of the Braganza family, who played significant roles in Goa’s history, including serving as viceroys during the Portuguese colonial period.

4. Rachol Seminary

Rachol Seminary - Portuguese Architectural places of Goa

Founded in the 16th century by the Jesuits, this seminary is a fine example of Portuguese colonial architecture. Its imposing structure and tranquil surroundings invite visitors to reflect on the region’s complex history.

Interesting Fact: Additionally, the Rachol Seminary houses the Antique Pipe organ and the unique sundial which have been the recent discoveries of the seminary.

3. Cabo de Rama Fort

Cabo de Rama Fort - Portuguese Architectural places of Goa

Originally built by Hindu rulers, the fort was captured and renovated by the Portuguese in the 16th century. Its sturdy walls, bastions, and watchtowers reflect typical Portuguese military architecture.

Interesting Fact: It is believed that Lord Rama stayed at this fort during his exile. 

2. Shantadurga Temple

Shantadurga Temple - Portuguese Architectural places of Goa
Image courtesy: Goa tourism 

One of the most prominent Portuguese influences on the Shantadurga Temple is its façade, which incorporates elements of Christian architecture such as arches and decorative motifs. The use of whitewashed walls and red-tiled roofs, reminiscent of Portuguese colonial buildings, further accentuates this fusion. Despite the Portuguese influence, the Shantadurga Temple remains deeply rooted in Hindu tradition, with rituals and ceremonies conducted according to ancient practices. 

Interesting Fact: The original temple was located at Keloshi, but it was shifted to its current location in Kavalem in the 16th century to escape Portuguese persecution.

1. Chorão Island

Chorao Island - Portuguese Architectural places of Goa
Image courtesy: Wilderness of Goa

One notable feature of Chorao island is the church of St. Bartholomew. It was built during the 16th C and displays serene interiors and religious artifacts reflecting the blend of European and Indian influences prevalent during that time. Additionally, the quaint village of Chorao is dotted with Portuguese-style houses, characterized by sloping tiled roofs, colorful facades, and ornate balconies. 

Interesting Fact: Chorao Island is known for its rich birdlife. It is home to the Dr. Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, named after India’s famous ornithologist.

To capture the best moments of your Goa trip to these Portuguese architectural places of Goa, Contact Lokaso Photoshoot now! 

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